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Briony Penn’s The Real Thing: The Natural History of Ian McTaggart Cowan is up for both the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize and the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize.JOHN LEHMANN/The Globe and Mail

A biography of a B.C. naturalist and an illustrated children's book with a strong environmental message lead the list of books shortlisted for the 2016 BC Book Prizes, with two nominations each.

The prize shortlists were made public on Wednesday.

The Real Thing: The Natural History of Ian McTaggart Cowan by Briony Penn is up for both the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize and the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize. Orca Chief by Roy Henry Vickers and Robert Budd is up for both the Bill Duthie Booksellers' Choice Award and the Christie Harris Illustrated Children's Literature Prize.

Also nominated in the regional category, which recognizes books that contribute most to the enjoyment and understanding of British Columbia, are: Soviet Princeton: Slim Evans and the 1932-33 Miners' Strike by John Bartlett and Rika Ruebsaat; Tod Inlet: A Healing Place by Gwen Curry; Ground-Truthing: Reimagining the Indigenous Rainforests of BC's North Coast by Derrick Stacey Denholm; and Resettling the Range: Animals, Ecologies, and Human Communities in British Columbia by John Thistle.

Others to receive non-fiction prize nods are: Tuco: The Parrot, the Others, and A Scattershot World, by Brian Brett; Made in British Columbia: Eight Ways of Making Culture, by Maria Tippett; Beyond the Pale: Folklore, Family and the Mystery of Our Hidden Genes, by Emily Urquhart; and That Lonely Section of Hell: The Botched Investigation of a Serial Killer Who Almost Got Away, by former Vancouver Police Department detective Lori Shenher.

Rounding out the Booksellers' Choice Award nominees are: Vancouver Vanishes: Narratives of Demolition and Revival by Caroline Adderson, John Atkin, Kerry Gold, Evelyn Lau, Eve Lazarus, John Mackie, Elise and Stephen Partridge, and Bren Simmers, with an introduction by Michael Kluckner and photos by Tracey Ayton and Caroline Adderson; Cold Case Vancouver: The City's Most Baffling Unsolved Murders, by Eve Lazarus; A Taste of Haida Gwaii: Food Gathering and Feasting at the Edge of the World, by Susan Musgrave; and Light Years: Memoir of a Modern Lighthouse Keeper, by Caroline Woodward.

Anakana Schofield's sophomore novel Martin John, which was nominated for the 2015 Scotiabank Giller Prize, has been shortlisted for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, along with Alix Hawley's All True Not a Lie in It; Pauline Holdstock's The Hunter and the Wild Girl; Irina Kovalyova's Specimen; and Nasreen Pejvack's Amity.

Up for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize are Twoism, by Ali Blythe; Where the words end and my body begins, by Amber Dawn; Transmitter and Receiver, by Raoul Fernandes; The Fire Extinguisher, by Miranda Pearson; and Foreign Park, by Jeff Steudel.

Also nominated for best illustrated children's books are Song for a Summer Night: A Lullaby, by Robert Heidbreder, illustrated by Qin Leng; The Red Bicycle: The Extraordinary Story of One Ordinary Bicycle, by Jude Isabella, illustrated by Simone Shin; Peace is an Offering, by Annette LeBox, illustrated by Stephanie Graegin; and This is Sadie, by Sara O'Leary, illustrated by Julie Morstad.

And up for the Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize are: Seven Dead Pirates, by Linda Bailey; Are You Seeing Me? by Darren Groth; The Truth Commission, by Susan Juby; We Are All Made of Molecules, by Susin Nielsen; and The Case of the Missing Moonstone, by Jordan Stratford.

The winners will be announced on April 30 in Victoria.

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